Siblings Bill Pollock and Lynda Pollock Lawler had their final meal yesterday at the iconic, original Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop on Torresdale Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop will close in September 2022 after operating for the past 73 years.

We spoke with Bill yesterday about having a final meal at an establishment that has been there before he was born and had been notable during his entire lifetime.

Bill and Lynda also went by their childhood home on Cottage Street, Tacony, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Here they are from yesterday:

Bill Pollock photo.
Bill Pollock photo.

“Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop was an institution when I was growing up. It went by another name in those days. My grade school, Henry W. Lawton, was literally around the corner. I remember in 6th grade, the teachers would order lunch from there and send me to pick them up. I guess because I was the biggest kid in the school they figured that I’d be safe? My sister Lynda reminded me today that I took her there on her 6th birthday and we split a cheesesteak. I would have been 9 at the time. Must’ve had some extra money from shoveling snow,” said Bill Pollock.

When Bill was a child, the name of the restaurant was an actual racial slur against Asian-Americans.

For decades, (as hard as this is to believe today), the store was formally known as “Chinks.” This offensive name endured until public outcry led to the store’s reimagining as Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop.

By today’s standards, using this kind of slur would subject you to being “canceled” posthaste.

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Owner Joseph Groh announced on Facebook last month that the original location will close in September, 2022. Groh has been a part of Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop for the past 43 years.

The second store, located on Girard Avenue in Fishtown will continue to operate as it does now and become the flagship store.

My colleague, Chris Coleman provided previous coverage about the closing of the original store.

Read More: Joe's Steaks on Torresdale Avenue in Philadelphia PA is Closing

Despite the second store continuing its operation, the public reaction throughout the Delaware Valley to the news of the closing of the original “Joe’s” has been both passionate and voluminous.

This is exactly why Bill and Lynda traveled in late August, 2022 from Atlantic County, New Jersey to Philadelphia, to make sure that they dined one last time at Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop.

Joe’s is a throwback to simpler times, many would say better times.

Look at the milkshake section at Joe’s. It’s everything that you would expect from happy days gone by.

It looks like Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko from Grease could walk in at any moment.

How many of you knew Sandy’s last name? In “Grease Live,” her surname was changed to Young.

Bill Pollock photo.
Bill Pollock photo.

Here is a close-up look at a legendary “Joe’s” cheesesteak sub. Oh my!

Bill Pollock photo.
Bill Pollock photo.

Bill is a retired Atlantic City Police Officer. We have been friends for more than 35 years. At one time, Bill and my twin brother Don were riding partners with the Atlantic City Police Department.

This walk down memory lane has put me in such a good mood.

Take the time. Make the time to do what Bill and Lynda did, yesterday. This is what life is all about. Making memories that last a lifetime.

It should serve as a reminder that our special childhood memories, that extend into adulthood are the important things in life.

Because times are changing, many things from your childhood … that I have continued to endure throughout your lifetime, are closing forever.

It’s just great that Bill and Linda took the time to have one last memorable experience at Joe’s Streaks & Soda Shop.

Please continue reading directly below, as we share photo galleries of iconic New Jersey stores that we loved … but are now closed forever and another wonderful photo gallery of childhood memories that various readers shared with us.

Great New Jersey Stores That We Once Loved That Are Now Closed

Atlantic City Area: Readers Share Favorite Childhood Memories


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